Randi Miller is used to being among the first.

In 2001, she competed in one of Texas’ first girls’ state wrestling tournaments. She then won bronze in Beijing at the 2008 Olympics, becoming the first Black woman to win a wrestling medal.

“I don’t remember being nervous,” Miller says of her Olympic experience. “I remember being prepared and ready. I just treated it like any other competition.”

Now, she’s breaking ground at Texas Woman’s, as the university’s first women’s wrestling coach, building a team from the ground up and preparing her athletes to compete beginning in the fall of 2022.

“I’ve always wanted to come back to Texas and coach and build a team,” says Miller. “I have no problem accepting a challenge, especially if it’s something like this that I’ve said over and over again I wanted.”

Call her a pioneer if you’d like, but Miller says she’s just following her passion.

“If I see something that I think would be good for me and my community, I’m not going to take into stock what other people say,” she says. “I trust myself. I trust my instincts. I trust my heart.”